2000–01 Philadelphia 76ers season
The 2000–01 NBA season was the 76ers 52nd season in the National Basketball Association, and 38th season in Philadelphia. Allen Iverson had his best season in 2001—he led his team to win their first ten games, he started and won All-Star MVP honors at the All Star Game. The Sixers also posted a 56–26 record, which was best in the Eastern Conference that season. It was the 76ers' best regular season record since 1984–85. Iverson averaged a then-career high 31.1 points, winning his second NBA scoring title in the process. He also won the NBA steals title at 2.5 per game. Iverson was named NBA Most Valuable Player for his accomplishments, beating Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal by a wide margin. In addition, coach Larry Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year, Dikembe Mutombo (who was acquired from the Atlanta Hawks) won his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, and Aaron McKie won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
The season, however, was not without controversy. With the Sixers having a big lead in the Eastern Conference, Theo Ratliff sustained an injury that sidelined him for the season, thus only having Matt Geiger and Todd MacCulloch at center. Ratliff was also selected to play in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game with Iverson, but because of injuries did not play. The Sixers then traded him and Toni Kukoč to Atlanta for Dikembe Mutombo. By trading Kukoc (who was not included in the original proposed deal, and who won three championships with Phil Jackson as his coach), the Sixers had only one other player on the roster who had NBA Finals experience, Eric Snow, who played a total of 24 minutes in 10 games in the 1996 NBA Playoffs for the Seattle SuperSonics. At one point the team record was 41–14, but finished 15–12 the rest of the way.
In the last game of the season (at home against the Chicago Bulls), Larry Brown rested his starters instead of trying to go for a win. Had the Sixers won this game, they would have the league's second best record (behind the San Antonio Spurs) and home court advantage over the Lakers in the Finals. Both had the same record, but the Lakers' record for non-conference opponents was better than Philadelphia's.
In the playoffs, Iverson and the Sixers defeated the Indiana Pacers three games to one in the first round, before meeting the Vince Carter-led Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Semifinals. The series went the full seven games. In the next round, the Sixers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, also in seven games, to advance to the NBA Finals against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Iverson scored 48 in Game 1, which the Sixers won. However, the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led Lakers would win the next 4 games and the title. Following the season, Tyrone Hill was traded back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and George Lynch was dealt to the Charlotte Hornets.
The team's season roster has been featured in the video game series NBA 2K. However, Rodney Buford, Roshown McLeod, Kevin Ollie, Pepe Sánchez, Raja Bell, and Speedy Claxton have been excluded from past installations of the game due to issues in regards to the permission of using the players' likenesses in the games.
During the offseason, the 76ers were not involved in any trades. In the 2000 NBA draft, they drafted guard Speedy Claxton and swingman Mark Karcher. Claxton missed the entire season due to a knee injury, while Karcher would be waived on October 18. Karcher would not play any games in the NBA.
Their first transaction was made on August 17, when they signed Jermaine Jackson. Jackson almost made the team, but he was waived one day before the team's season opener.
On October 2, the 76ers signed Ademola Okulaja and Pepe Sánchez. Okulaja was on the team's roster, but did not play in any regular season games. He was waived on December 19. Sánchez played 19 games with the Sixers before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks with Toni Kukoč, Nazr Mohammed, and Theo Ratliff for Roshown McLeod and Dikembe Mutombo on February 22. Sánchez played 5 games with Atlanta before being waived on March 12. Three days later, Sánchez would once again sign with the Sixers.
On October 28, the 76ers signed Vernon Maxwell, who played for them during the 1995–96 season. Maxwell would play in 24 games with the Sixers before being waived on December 22.
Philadelphia 76ers roster
- Rookie guard Speedy Claxton missed the entire season due to a knee injury.
- z – clinched division title
- y – clinched division title
- x – clinched playoff spot
Record vs. opponents
|2000–01 game log|
Total: 56–26 (Home: 29–12; Road: 27–14)
October: 1–0 (Home: 0–0; Road: 1–0)
November: 11–2 (Home: 6–0; Road: 5–2)
December: 9–6 (Home: 1–4; Road: 8–2)
January: 13–3 (Home: 7–2; Road: 6–1)
February: 9–5 (Home: 6–3; Road: 3–2)
March: 7–6 (Home: 5–2; Road: 2–4)
April: 6–4 (Home: 4–1; Road: 2–3)
|2001 playoff game log|
First round: 3–1 (Home: 1–1; Road: 2–0)
Conference Semifinals: 4–3 (Home: 3–1; Road: 1–2)
Conference Finals: 4–3 (Home: 3–1; Road: 1–2)
NBA Finals: 1–4 (Home: 0–3; Road: 1–1)
|2001 playoff schedule|
East First Round
Eastern Conference Finals
- Game 1 – June 6, Wednesday, 9:00pm et @Los Angeles, Philadelphia 107, Los Angeles 101 (OT): Philadelphia leads series 1-0
- Game 2 – June 8, Friday, 9:00pm et @Los Angeles, Los Angeles 98, Philadelphia 89: Series tied 1-1
- Game 3 – June 10, Sunday, 8:30pm et @Philadelphia, Los Angeles 96, Philadelphia 91: Los Angeles leads series 2-1
- Game 4 – June 13, Wednesday, 8:30pm et @Philadelphia, Los Angeles 100, Philadelphia 86: Los Angeles leads series 3-1
- Game 5 – June 15, Friday, 8:30pm et @Philadelphia, Los Angeles 108, Philadelphia 96: Los Angeles wins series 4-1
The Finals were played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. The NBA, after experimenting in the early years, restored this original format for the Finals in 1985. As of the 2013–2014 NBA finals played by the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, the finals have again been returned to a 2-2-1-1-1 format.
Awards and records
- Allen Iverson, NBA Most Valuable Player Award
- Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award
- Aaron McKie, NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award
- Larry Brown, NBA Coach of the Year Award
- Allen Iverson, All-NBA First Team
- Dikembe Mutombo, All-NBA Second Team
- Dikembe Mutombo, NBA All-Defensive First Team